Several big toymakers ended up on the industry’s ‘naughty list’

A toy industry watchdog called, umm, WATCH recently releases its annual naughty list of the 10 worst toys.


December 1, 2019

Several weeks ago, the nonprofit organization “World Against Toys Causing Harm” (WATCH) published its annual list of the “10 Worst Toys.”

The nonprofit, which has published the list for more than 40 years, is no mere Scrooge: It makes its list “so parents and caregivers know what traps to avoid when buying toys — especially in the upcoming 2019 holiday shopping season.”

So, who has been bad this year?

The products that ended up on the list ranged from toy guns to stuffed yetis. Here’s the full list of the toys — and what makes them bad (all capitalization and exclamation points WATCH’s emphasis, not ours):

  1. Nerf Ultra One foam dart blaster. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES!”
  2. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES!”
  3. Bunchems Bunch’n Build. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR HAIR ENTANGLEMENT AND CHOKING!”
  4. Yeti stuffed toy. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION/ASPIRATION INJURIES!”
  5. Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR CHEMICAL INGESTION AND IRRITATION INJURIES!”
  6. Anstoy Electronic Toy Gun. Why? “REALISTIC TOY WEAPONRY!”
  7. Diecast School Bus. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES!”
  8. Pogo Trick Board. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR HEAD AND IMPACT INJURIES!”
  9. Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw. Why? “POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES!”
  10. Viga Pull Along Caterpillar. Why? POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION AND ENTANGLEMENT INJURIES!

But toymakers tell customers to watch out for WATCH

For toy companies, WATCH is the grim reaper of the toy industry — and the fact that its list comes out right before the holiday shopping rush isn’t helpful to sales either. 

But WATCH itself has been criticized by many members of the toy industry for failing to rigorously test the products it labels as bad.

“By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards,” wrote the Toy Association, an industry trade group. “WATCH does not test the toys in its report to check their safety.”

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